Here is a small article about Training with Kettlebells, and some observations (and Tips I pass on to you) that I have seen over the past few years.
1. Do you have the proper training?
As Kettlebell training becomes more popular, there are so called “experts” popping up all over the place. Youtube being the most popular place to see this, But also increasingly in Gyms.
Trouble is, many of those first-time exercisers electing to grab the bell by its handle lack the know-how or ability required to actually use it, and get some bad advise on how to use them.
It takes literary thousands of hours of practice to master a subject, And After Completing many master classes and a IKFF certification, I have to admit that I do not know 100% of everything or that I am the best expert, That would be naive, But Still I do have more knowledge/skill on how to use Kettlebells than a lot of Personal Trainers that only get fast tracked in their PT course which normally only consists on a Afternoon on Kettlebells.
Getting proper training is key to make use of Kettlebells, A well structured program that you can progress with and you will learn how to use the kettlebells in an effective and safe manner.
2. Kettlebell Is A Training Tool
Kettlebell is a training tool. How you use them very much depends on your own personal goals.
And therefore how you use the kettlebells determines the outcome of your training.
Understanding movement is the foundation to any successful strength training program. If we make the training about the Kettlebell and not about teaching our clients efficient, pain free human movement, we are missing the point. In my group “Kettlebell” classes we educate the clients about basic human movement by teaching them how to push, pull, squat and deadlift. I want them to love Kettlebell training because it helps them move, feel and look better, not because it’s trendy.
3. Learn The Fundamentals first: How to Swing the Kettlebell Properly Before You Get Into Fancy (Maybe)
Everyone wants to learn the snatch, but what happened to the swing? Lets Get the basics right first before you get too fancy with the kettlebells.
The Kettlebell swing is one of the most important foundational moves in kettlebell training. Although, it looks very simple and basic but it is one kettlebell move that requires plenty of perfect practice that will pay off big time and improve your overall general conditioning.
All Too often, people want to skip all the basics and go right to the fancy stuff. They want to walk before they crawl and as we as trainers know all to well-this just doesn’t work. Advanced types of exercises are only beneficial to advanced trainees.
The swing is not a squat with a front raise. Nor is it an upper body hunch followed by extreme lumbar extension. It’s a deadlift or a hinge, followed by a powerful, explosive hip snap, accompanied by a rigid torso. It’s graceful, aggressive and perfectly sequenced. Anything else is NOT a swing.
It’s my job to dial in the basics and train people within the realm of their capabilities. Not everyone will progress to double Kettlebell clean and jerks, and that’s okay. So for now, Lets keep it simple, and do alot of swings and get your form right.
4. Kettlebell Sizes You Should Be Using
There is no point swinging those cute little bells that you can do bicep curls easily for 5 to 10 reps easily
Heavy is a relative term, and the number on the bell should not be the only thing that denotes progress. But these ridiculously small kettlebells that are being shown in certain infomercials and other media are really not going to accomplish much. “Swinging” little bells as compared to heavier bells does nothing for your core muscles and offer minimal or no conditioning or cardiovascular effects.
An average woman should start with an 8 kg kettlebells and a strong woman should start with 12kg. Eventually, most women should be using the 16kg. And average men should start with 16kg.
Outside of that, anything under 8kg is downright silly. Even 8kg is a paperweight after awhile, these this little 4kg Kettlebells are so useless.
I have client, Jeanette is a 58 years old who does the Turkish get ups with an 8kg and overhead presses with 12 kg, Two handed swings 20kg and goblet squats 24kg. She can even deadlift her bodyweight and has no reason to even touch a 4 or 6 kg Kettlebell.
That’s the power of using Kettlebells….
5. The Turkish Get Up is not “get up off the ground by any means necessary”
If you want to develop total body strength, performing the Turkish Get Up ‘TGU’ with the kettlebells will undoubtedly challenge the core muscles and help to develop a strong total body strength and solid mid section
The main points to a ‘TGU’ is that the wrist and elbow MUST be straight. The arm MUST be Upright Pointing straight up to the sky. The shoulder MUST be packed. These are non-negotiable details of the ’TGU’. Just because you can get off the ground, doesn’t mean you did a get up.
Rushing to perform the ‘TGU’ with stupid amounts of weight is just mental. Master the basics, remember? It’s about respecting the Kettlebell bell and respecting movement.
6. Kettlebells build muscle – Kettlebells burn fat
Unlike most forms of cardio work that is designed to burn fat, using a kettlebell actually helps you build muscle at the same time as burning fat stores .
So if your goal is fat loss, swing the kettlebells with rapid hip extensions because fast twitch muscle contraction burns more calories and boost metabolism more than slow muscle contractions.
And if your goal is to develop explosive strength so that you can sprint faster, then swinging the kettlebells is a great way to develop explosive strength in the hips for quicker sprints.
Yes you can press or squat with kettlebells. But it does not mean you will know how to use the kettlebells if you know how to use the barbells.
You are lifting a weight after all and this weight is transferred to your muscles requiring them to do extra work for each movement. When working with kettlebells on a regular basis once can expect to see larger, firmer muscles as a result.
Even if you are only performing the swing, (the most basic of kettlebell movements), you can expect to build muscles in your legs, back, shoulders, arms and even your midsection.
Running Hours on the Treadmill is great, but I am NOT trying to build a physique like a marathon runner, are you? I’d like to show some muscle when I pull of the t-shirt this summer…
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That’s all for now..
KMF ” Keep moving Forward’